Saturday, October 31, 2015

Charlie Musselwhite - I Ain’t Lyin’…

2015 – Henrietta Records
By Phillip Smith; Oct. 31, 2015

I Ain’t Lyin’…, the latest album from legendary Bluesman Charlie Musselwhite is chockfull of downhome blues and happens to be a sheer delight.  The album was recorded live in 2014 at the Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival in Sonoma, CA, and Clarksdale Soundstage in Clarksdale, MS, with Matt Stubbs (guitar), June Core (drums), and Steve Froberg (bass).   

I love how Musselwhite takes on Elmore James’ “Done Somebody Wrong”.  Stubbs’ crisp bluesy riffs and Musselwhite’s second- to-none harp playing sound so good.  There’s a sort of playful Fifties rockabilly vibe going in “Long Lean Lanky Mama”. It’s just a fun song to dig into, as is “My Kinda Gal” with Froberg’s cool-as-hell, cowboy-fitted baseline.  The band gets kind of funky on “Long Leg Woman”. Its Allman Brothers feel makes it one of my favorite tracks on this album.  This is definitely a song that jams.    

Duke Pearson’s “Cristo Redentor” is such a lovely piece.  This slow and easy instrumental is exquisite.  Core’s drumming really shines and Stubbs so elegantly keeps the rhythm going as Musselwhite beautifully plays his heart out on harmonica.

Musselwhite scores big with I Ain’t Lyin’… This is how the Blues should be played.


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